Eileen Ash, the oldest cricketer in England, passed away on Saturday at the age of 110. Ash made her debut against Australia in 1937 in Test cricket, she played seven Test matches in total, taking 10 wickets at an average of 23.00 before her retirement in 1949.
Ash was a well-known personality in England. She rang the bell in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup final at the Lord’s, and a couple of years later, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) revealed her portrait at the same venue.
Eileen Ash played golf until the age of 98: ECB
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) expressed the loss of their oldest player by issuing a statement on her death. The board has mentioned some great moments about the former player’s lifestyle and also spoke about her fitness in her final years.
“The England and Wales Cricket Board is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Eileen Ash at the age of 110. Ash, who made her Test debut against Australia in 1937, was a remarkable woman who led an extraordinary life. A right-arm seamer, Ash (née Whelan) made her Test debut against Australia at Northampton in 1937 and went on to represent her country on seven occasions either side of World War II, retiring in 1949,” said the ECB in a statement.
“Eighty years after she made her international debut, Ash rang the bell at a sold-out Lord’s ahead of England Women’s memorable victory in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup final. Two years later, in 2019, a portrait of Ash was unveiled at the Home of Cricket, a ground at which she was afforded life-long honorary MCC Membership.
“She played golf until the age of 98, and in 2017, aged 105, she demonstrated her extraordinary energy in a yoga session with current England Women’s captain Heather Knight. Ash received messages from the cricketing world earlier this year, when she celebrated her 110th birthday in October,” further read the statement.
Eileen Ash was one of the pioneers of our sport: Clare Connor
Clare Connor, the ECB’s managing director of women’s cricket and the MCC’s president, said that Ash was one of the pioneers of the sport and mentioned her personal visit to Ash along with Heather Knight.
“Our sport owes so much to its pioneers and Eileen was one of them. I am deeply sad to be saying goodbye to her today. Heather and I went to visit Eileen about six months before the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup – she was 105 at the time – and it was one of the most remarkable experiences,” Connor said.
“Eileen taught Heather yoga, we played snooker, we drank cups of tea and we leafed through newspapers and scrapbooks celebrating Eileen’s time as a player in the 1930s and 1940s. She regaled us with some amazing stories, including how she came to have her bat signed by Sir Donald Bradman at a French restaurant in Sydney in 1949!”
“I know neither of us will ever forget that day, it was so special. Our thoughts and prayers are with Eileen’s family as they come to terms with losing such a wonderful woman and the end of an astonishing life,” she added.
England are the defending champions of the 2017 Women’s World Cup after defeating India by nine runs in a nail-biting final match.